Having a week off from teaching tends to make me introspective. This morning I lay in bed thinking how wonderful it was that I didn’t have to go to work tomorrow. This was followed, in no particularly logical sequence, by thoughts about how very unkind I have been to my body lately.
Oh, sure, I get a monthly massage and a chiropractic adjustment. Just this week I had a pedicure; my toes are quite well cared for. The rest of my body is a wasteland. I spend a great deal of time on the couch doing just what I’m doing now—writing. Bent over a keyboard. I don’t spend nearly enough time moving my body around and this is decidedly unkind.
I have a book of daily yoga meditations I bought at the beginning of this year, and one from a few weeks ago says, “Practicing yoga is a loving act of respect. In your practice today, treat your body with the respect you would give to my body.” I puzzled over this at first. What exactly did she mean? Why would I be more respectful to someone else’s body than my own? Then a light bulb went off. I would be more respectful to someone else’s body than I would be to my own for the same reasons that I am more forgiving, kind, generous and patient with other people than I am with myself. Duh.
So this morning I resolved to walk. Then I thought, what the heck, why not walk every day? As horrible as February is, why not go out with a bang? For all these reasons, I am officially declaring this the Week of Winter Walking. At the very least, it will give me something to write about.
This morning, I started in Clifty Falls State Park, one of my favorite walking spots. We walked from the Poplar Grove picnic area to the Lily Memorial overlook. Then we sat, watched a couple of hawks circling above the canyon, and felt the sun on our faces. I was reminded, as I always am when I head to the park, that there is something deep inside me that unravels only when I am in the woods.
I’d like to try a different walk each day because it’s one of those rare weeks when I have the time, so I’m soliciting suggestions. What are some of your favorite places to walk? Do you prefer urban or natural terrain? Flat or hilly? Deserted or busy?